Free exhibition at Headway Arts in Blyth will tell stories of Crofton Mill Pit miners

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An exhibition telling the stories of Crofton Mill Pit miners will be held next week as part of a project to preserve their experiences for future generations.

Crofton Mill Pit Remembered will open at Headway Arts in Blyth between Thursday, November 16 and Saturday, November 18.

It is the accumulation of two years of work by the Friends of Crofton Field and includes a timeline of the mine’s operation and a roll call of former miners.

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A Friends of Crofton Field spokesperson said: “Despite closing as long ago as 1969 there are a few former miners still alive. Each of them has vivid memories and stories to tell about working at the pit.

Former miners Danny Winter, Bill Godfrey, and Bobby Bryson unveil a new plaque on the Crofton Mill Pit mine tub ahead of the exhibition. (Photo by Alan and Susan Devlin)Former miners Danny Winter, Bill Godfrey, and Bobby Bryson unveil a new plaque on the Crofton Mill Pit mine tub ahead of the exhibition. (Photo by Alan and Susan Devlin)
Former miners Danny Winter, Bill Godfrey, and Bobby Bryson unveil a new plaque on the Crofton Mill Pit mine tub ahead of the exhibition. (Photo by Alan and Susan Devlin)

“The exhibition is centred around their stories and aims to ensure that those stories are not lost, but are preserved for future generations.

“The exhibition offers a unique opportunity for the residents of Blyth to reconnect with their heritage and to reflect on the hard, physical labour, the hardships, and the many dangers that were once part of the daily life for so many of its workers.”

Research into the mine by sixth form students at Bede Academy will also form part of the exhibition.

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A ‘memory board’ will also be installed, allowing visitors to leave their own thoughts, memories, and recollections of the pit, which operated between 1885 to 1969.

Students and staff from Bede Academy with a  banner publicising the exhibition. (Photo by Alan and Susan Devlin)Students and staff from Bede Academy with a  banner publicising the exhibition. (Photo by Alan and Susan Devlin)
Students and staff from Bede Academy with a banner publicising the exhibition. (Photo by Alan and Susan Devlin)

A new pit banner has been created by Headway Arts to mark the occasion in collaboration with other community groups and schools. It will combine elements of the site’s mining heritage with the modern transformation of the site.

The free exhibition will be opened at 10.30am on Thursday by the High Sheriff of Northumberland, Diana Barkasand, and a performance by the Blyth Tall Ship Shanty Singers.

It will be open between 11am and 3pm each day, with music between noon and 1pm on Friday and Saturday.

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The exhibition will close with a concert at 7pm on Saturday featuring local bands Beeswing and the Attic Band.

Headway Arts and the Friends of Crofton Field received sponsorship from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Heart of Blyth in order to create the exhibition.

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